Professional Standards Scheme
The Engineers Australia Professional Standards Scheme (the Scheme) is a limitation of liability scheme approved under the Professional Standards legislation of each State and Territory.
About the Scheme
The Scheme applies to members of Engineers Australia who are also members of the Engineering, Science and Technology Professional Standards Society (ESTPSS) of Engineers Australia, and is designed to:
- improve the occupational standards of the profession,
- protect consumers, and
put a cap on the amount of damages a court can award against members covered by the Scheme in legal actions for economic loss or property damage arising from anything they did or did not do in carrying out their occupation.
If you are a member of the Scheme:
- Your legal liability is capped; see Limitation of liability.
- Your membership, which is recognised worldwide, certifies that you practise in a competent, independent and ethical manner and that you are a leader in your field.
- Regular audit of your professional development certifies that your professional expertise is recognised as being up to date.
- You have an appropriate level of insurance cover.
You have risk management strategies in place.
The Scheme is in force in each State and Territory; the commencement dates in each State and Territory are as follows:
|Australian Capital Territory||1 January 2009|
|New South Wales||24 February 2007|
|Northern Territory||1 January 2009|
|Queensland||1 January 2009|
|South Australia||1 September 2009|
|Tasmania||1 June 2009|
|Victoria||19 January 2010|
|Western Australia||1 January 2009|
The Scheme is intended to remain in force for five years from its commencement unless it is revoked before then.
The Engineers Australia Schemes in ACT, NSW, NT,QLD and WA have also been prescribed in the Trade Practices Amendment Regulations 2009 under the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth). The commencement date for prescription is 12 June 2009 and the prescription is for two years.
The Scheme is managed by a Management Committee appointed by the Council of Engineers Australia.
The Management Committee:
- manages the Professional Standards Scheme for members of Engineers Australia.
- sets up membership criteria.
- develops and disseminates guidance material on risk management practices.
- ensures that a paper-based audit of the risk practices of 33% of members is conducted annually and arranges for verification audits, which may involve visiting places of business where required.
- ensures complaints are dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Regulations of Engineers Australia.
- manages the financial and other administrative affairs of the society in an efficient and effective manner.
- provides reports to Engineers Australia on the management of the society.
- provides reports to the Professional Standards Council on matters relating to the Professional Standards Scheme for Engineers Australia.
The Scheme is administered by Engineers Australia staff.
Individuals, sole practitioners, corporations and partnerships are eligible to join the Engineering, Science and Technology Professional Standards Society (ESTPSS) and be covered by the scheme. To be covered by the Engineers Australia Professional Standards Scheme, you must be a member of Engineers Australia and a member of the ESTPSS.
To belong to the Scheme you are required to pay:
- an application fee, and
- an ongoing annual subscription fee.
The pre-requisites to apply to join are outlined in the table below:
Become a member of the Engineering, Science and Technology Professional Standards Society of Engineers Australia.
Note: You and all eligible employees within your firm must be Chartered Members of Engineers Australia
|2||Ensure that current Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance policies are in place and conform to the Insurance Standards determined by the National Council of Engineers Australia.|
|3||Ensure that a risk management system is in place in your practice.|
Comply with the Chartered Member Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Compliance Policy of Engineers Australia.
Note: Your and all eligible employees must either have had a CPD audit in the three years prior to lodging an application to join or have a CPD audit when you apply to join.
Once you are a member of the ESTPSS you are required to:
- Promote and advertise on all business documentation that you belong or your firm belongs to the Scheme.
- Maintain your compliance with the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy of Engineers Australia.
- Renew membership annually.